After producers Fremantle failed to secure another UK broadcaster, the Australian soap Neighbours will shoot its final scene in June, ending a record 37-year run.
The series, which launched the worldwide careers of a slew of celebrities like Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie, and Guy Pearce, is Australia’s longest-running drama series and has been financed by Channel 5 since 2008.
The Ramsay Street characters’ cheery lives continue to draw 1.5 million UK viewers per day.
“It is with sadness that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in June,” a Fremantle spokesperson said.
“Following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the UK, and despite a search for alternative funding, we currently have no option but to rest the show.”
The production’s last blow comes a month after Channel 5 in the United Kingdom declared it will no longer run the show.
“Everyone at Neighbours has been overwhelmed by the love and support from the audience since the news came out,” Fremantle said. “The show has brought a sunny slice of Australia into the homes of millions of viewers around the world, launching the careers of dozens of household names along way.
“But as this chapter of Ramsay Street comes to a close, we promise to do everything we can to give the show the send-off it deserves.”
I will NEVER forgive @channel5_tv for destroying the legend and insitution that is @neighbours!!! We still have time to #SaveNeighbours so come on everyone, let's send those emails to @ITV and tweet until we can't tweet anymore!! #neighbours ???? pic.twitter.com/jQ40itmw5q— Richard James Porter ? (@RichardJamesPo3) February 28, 2022
Since moving from the main channel to a minor channel approximately a decade ago, the show has not been a rating hit for the Ten network, but it has been a useful promotional tool for the network and has trained hundreds of Australians in the craft of television.
“A much-loved stalwart of our program schedule for over 35 years, it has been a staple of Australian television drama, and Australian cultural exports,” a Ten spokesperson said.
“Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a world-famous cul-de-sac that has housed Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David, and a slew of other residents.”
“Network 10 thanks to the cast, crew, all the production team, and Fremantle for bringing the perfect blend of soap and sunshine to audiences in Australia and around the world.
“We thank the Australian fans and audiences for their continued support of the series. Their encouragement particularly in the past few weeks has been incredible. It shows that our audience still wants Australian scripted drama. We have listened to them and there are exciting new local projects in the pipeline, which is great for our audience and for the local industry.
We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our amazing viewers during this time. We have the best fans. We have always been in this together and we love each and every one of you. #Neighbours pic.twitter.com/19KKT3Ixvd— Neighbours (@neighbours) February 8, 2022
“We are confident that the cast, crew, and writers will bring their distinctive warmth, style, and humour to the Neighbours set as they embark on filming the final episodes over the coming months.”
The show was noted for breaking down barriers, including presenting Mackenzie Hargraves – played by Australian trans campaigner Georgie Stone – as the show’s first trans character in 2019. Lana Crawford and Sky Mangel’s “lesbian kiss” on Neighbours was widely publicized in 2004.
On March 18, 1985, Neighbours premiered on the Seven Network, but the network famously canceled it before it became a worldwide hit for Ten, which picked it up the next year.
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